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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Tourism sector opposes requiring negative Covid test for entry to Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s tourism sector on Monday voiced its opposition to a request from medical professionals to mandate a negative Covid-19 test for foreign arrivals.

Gustavo Segura, Tourism Minister, said that implementing a negative test as a requirement for entry is not currently being considered. The hierarch spoke to CRHoy in response to a petition from the health sector to apply that measure as coronavirus variants spread.

“International tourism is a strategy of relatively low epidemiological risk,” Segura said. “[The negative test requirement] is not convenient to reactivate a very battered economy.

“Going back to a requirement that does not guarantee that a tourist does not come with contagion would be an obstacle to one of the few instruments to reactivate the economy. We do not need to add more requirements.”

The National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) also asked authorities not to require a negative Covid-19 test.

“The virus is not prevented by requesting PCR tests. It is prevented with individual commitment and accelerating the immunization process of the population. Imposing the mandatory nature of the PCR test implies a direct impact on tourism,” said the president of CANATUR, Rubén Acón.

Costa Rica required a negative test when it reopened its borders in August 2020. However, it lifted that requirement as of October 2020.

Many countries, including the United States, continue to require a negative Covid test for entry in many situations.

Costa Rica’s pandemic-related entry requirements for tourists are as follows, via the Tourism Board:

Completing the HEALTH PASS online form available at https://salud.go.cr

The Health Pass can only be completed within the 72 hours prior to departure. It must be accessed on up-to-date browsers, with the exception of Internet Explorer. One form must be completed per person, including minors, without exception.

Acquiring medical insurance

Tourists must acquire mandatory travel insurance that covers lodging in the event of quarantine as well as medical expenses due to contracting COVID-19.

If the tourist has already been vaccinated, this does not exempt them from this requirement, and they must acquire an insurance policy as described. This requirement remains in force.

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